|My pig "Daisy"|
First you stuff the bag with crunched up newspaper, one page at a time. Even a smallish bag from a loaf of bread, such as we are using here, will take quite a few pieces of newspaper to fill, since you want it fairly firm. When full, the end of the bag gets tied, rubber-banded, twist-tied, or taped (whatever works!) You won't see that end on the piggies in these photos, since their snouts have been built over the taped bag ends.
Masking tape is used to shape the bag as desired. For the pigs, that simply means taping in any corners, but if you were making, for example, a bug, you might want to tightly tape a 'waist' to separate body parts. This process of taping bags was used for other papier-mache student work I've shown you over the years. Look at these posts to find a Laurel Burch style cat, and a frog (among other things) made by former students, and an assortment of critters made by me as samples, including a lizard found in this post.
We will be using cereal box cardboard to add the wings, after the piggie has been papier-mache'd. This will make the papier-mache process go more quickly. You can see some finished papier-mache flying pigs, made by my former 5th graders, here.
Next week, my students will be embarking on gooey papier-mache, my personal favorite thing ever! In the meantime, the pigs already have names such as Piggly Wigglebottom (which will probably change several times before completion).
By the way, I'm often asked why I don't like using balloons for papier-mache. I've told the story here on the blog before, but here it is again: My town has a HUGE annual hot air balloon festival every year, so one year we decided to start in the fall with papier-mache hot air balloons. At the end of the day there were more than 40 wet projects on my windowsills, in my drying cabinet, and on the counter. I was in school quite late that afternoon, all alone except for a custodian, when I heard gunshots. Or at least that's what I thought. One after another, the balloons starting popping. I'm assuming it was due to an end of the day temperature change in the building, perhaps? I nearly jumped out of my skin! More than 1/2 the projects popped, and I spent about another hour, blowing up new balloons into each one of the collapsing art projects. I absolutely NEVER want to do that again!!!! Boy were my lungs tired!